Winter and Hot Chocolate are perfect match so what could be better than a whole winter month of Hot Chocolate! Presented by Cityfood Magazine, the 9th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is now on until February 14th, 2019.
The Festival finds 29 participants around the city creating an offering of 70+ varieties of chocolate drinks. The Hot Chocolate Festival gives guests the chance to explore Metro Vancouver’s favourite cafes, chocolatiers, patisseries, gelaterias, and restaurants in search of a new favourite Hot Chocolate blend. Created with Milk, Dark and White Chocolates, flavours range from single origin cups, vibrant and spicy blends, liquor and floral infusions, vegan or coconut milk options.
The Festival reaches across Metro Vancouver; Temper Chocolates & Pastry in West Vancouver, to Trafiq Café and Bakery on Main Street, and Gem Chocolates in Kerrisdale or Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby. Why not take in one of the Chocolate Cooking Class at the Trattoria in the Italian Cultural Centre. Visit hotchocolatefest.com to see what the participants have to offer and to download the Hot Chocolate Festival map and guide and see how Hot Chocolate Makes You Happy.
The Hot Chocolate Festival supports the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters’ Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program, Growing Chefs and Fresh to Families.
Kick off Summer 2018 with a flavourful evening during Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates West End. As with all Tasting Plates, the neighbourhood’s restaurants and eateries will offer participants a tasting plate or cup that best exemplifies their establishment and chef. During the evening, join other foodies and friends to sip and savour the flavours both new and established. Visit with others over the bites, as questions of some of the chefs, learn about the West End and enjoy the last day of Spring.
Starting at Milano Coffee at 849 Denman Street, Tasting Platers will check in to receive their Tasting Plate passport and menu, then off they’ll go to complete the passport and get their fill of the West End. Other eateries on Tasting Plates West End, along Denman and Davie Streets, include;
Davie Dosa Company, 1235 Davie Street, Vancouver
Pasture to Plate, 1061 Denman Street, Vancouver
Tartine Bread and Pies, 1069 Davie Street, Vancouver
Advance Tickets: $45 per person until June 18, 2018 Regular Tickets: $60 per person after June 18, 2018 *Eventbrite fees and tastes extra
Ticket price includes a tasting plates at each of the participating eateries throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some locations, as noted on menu, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).
Even though Haru Korean Kitchen has been open since the winter, we’ve recently made a couple of visits to try out their stylish and tasty Korean food.
If you follow us, you know we try a lot of Korean restaurants around town, and Haru Korean Kitchen now ranks right up there with our favourites. The simple and modern, interior decor keeps the attention on the food; large portions, with quick and friendly service. In addition to being fresh and flavourful, everything we’ve had is visually delicious too, vibrant crisp, colours, add to the appeal.
Traditional Korean dishes line-up alongside special-menu items that introduce West Coast ingredients to the dishes.
The current special menu includes Smoked Salmon Bibimbap, smooth smoked salmon replacing the usual meat. Piled high with fresh julienned vegetables, stacked on multigrain rice, the dish looked more like a salad than a rice bowl. A fresh and light dish, great for a summer day.
Other items we’ve tried have been equally fresh, and simple. Another special menu item, Bi-Bim-Gook-Su, is similar to traditional Bibimbap but on buckwheat noodles. Soo-Yuk is also a special-menu snack item, seasoned steamed sliced pork served with crisp, tangy, pickled radish
Ginseng Chicken Stew with Sticky Rice (Samgyetang) is an individual size bowl of the classic Korean comfort dish, flavourful shredded chicken with sticky rice, ginseng and other herbs.
Namul, from the snacks menu, is a rainbow of five seasoned vegetables thinly sliced, is another bright summer inspired dish.
The house-made, pan-fried pork Mandu, also from the snacks menu, are plump, nicely filled, chewy and crispy dumplings. These just maybe pulled up to second place as favourite mandu in Vancouver.
We look forward to trying more of the menu, as we look at other tables, we’re already to make our next orders.
Tucked into a shopping complex in Surrey, the recently opened West Village Cafe is an urban oasis in a suburban sea of chain store conformity. Even as you enter the bright, contemporary, cafe you are aware that you’re in for something good.
Arriving on a Sunday morning, West Village Cafe was bustling and alive with groups of friends and families socializing, studying and sipping a great smoothie, or coffee while digging into their brunch or lunch dishes. Owners Paul and Jas, and their staff greet guests with friendly and fast service, creating a comfortable, welcoming room. Even though almost everything is housemade the small kitchen turns out food in a rapid pace, comparable to the fast food restaurant. Paul, Jas and Chef Tim Cuff have created a menu which offers a diverse selection of Breakfast/Brunch, Salads, Soups, Sandwiches, and their speciality Rice Bowls, along with Grab-n-Go baked goods and drinks. Ingredients have been carefully selected from local sources and the freshness is reflected in the taste.
My meal of the Turmeric, Cous Cous & Grapefruit Salad, with one of best classic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches was comforting and fresh. The AntiOxidant Smoothie and Chocolate & Peanut Butter Energy Seed Bar were a tasty, healthy combo to take on the road back to Vancouver. West Village Cafe may be out in Surrey, (we wish it there was one near our Yaletown neighbourhood) it’s definitely now on our list of places to visit on a day out and a place to meet with friends in the area.
West Village Cafe is located at #160 – 5620 152nd Street, Surrey BC Visit westvillagecafe.ca to check out the menu and more information then make a visit in person.
The 2017 Dine Out Vancouver Festival wrapped up this weekend and before it concluded, another pair of neighbourhood Brunch Crawls, presented by Vancouver Foodster. This week saw a tour of Robson Street / West End Brunch Crawl on Saturday and Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl on Sunday.
We stepped out on a snowy Saturday morning to take in the Robson Street / West End Brunch Crawl. Beginning with a visit to Papparoti to pick up our Brunch Crawl registration cards and then to get the day started with Papparoti’s Brunch Crawl offering.
If Papparoti was on my way to work, I’d be starting my day this way a lot more often. They served a pair of their flavoured fresh from the oven Rollies; Coconut and Choco Banana filled. Accompanying my pastries was a Signature Karak Tea, like a light, milky chai tea. The Tea, Papparoti Pastries and a paper would be a perfect leisurely weekend morning but we had many more places to visit so off we went.
Down the street, one of our favourites, De Dutch Pannekoek House had the griddle on serving a sweet or savoury pannekoeken. Edam and de Bakon made a meaty, melty combination for me, if sweet was in mind, a strawberry topped pannekoeken was the other option. Sweet or Savoury is always a hard decision, even harder when facing the full De Dutch menu!
On the corner of Robson and Denman, PuntoPasta introduces Brunch Crawlers to the newest addition to their menu, pizza. A natural fit for an Italian cafe, PuntoPasta offered a trio of pizza toppings; Margherita, Veggie or Carbonara. Equally at home on pasta as on oven baked dough. Served alongside was a cup of fresh brewed Lavazza Italian Coffee.
Further down Denman a collaborative effort at Ritual Vancouver, the comfort food cafe where Commodity Juicery serves their fresh cold-pressed juices and smoothies. Ritual served a rich, and flavourful dish; Yam Of Your Dreams; a roasted, sweet caramelized yam topped with hearty pulled pork. On the side, an Upbeet Smoothie from Commodity was a blend of pineapple, cantaloupe, mango, beets, banana, coconut, ginger, dates and apple juice.
Finally, we visited Styo Dessert the waffle and smoothie cafe offered a Ham & Cheese pair with a Blueberry croissant style waffle for sweet and savoury plate. To keep our morning energy up, an Antioxidant Berry dairy-free smoothie completed our tastes and wrapped up the Brunch Crawls for 2017.
We can’t wait until next year to see what the neighbourhoods have to offer. If you can’t wait until then, check out some of the other Vancouver Foodster events coming up like; Pizza Palooza – February 22nd, or the 5th Anniversary Downtown Tasting Plates on March 8th.
Hot Chocolate is the perfect antidote to fight this unseasonal cold winter we’ve been experiencing so what’s better than a whole month of Hot Chocolate! Presented by Cityfood Magazine, the 7th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival hits town this Friday, January 19th, running until February 14th.
The Festival finds 29 participants around the city creating an offering of 61 different flavours of chocolate drinks. The Hot Chocolate Festival gives guests the chance to explore Vancouver’s favourite cafes, chocolatiers, patisseries, gelaterias, and restaurants in search for one of their Chocolates flavours. Since launching in 2011, the Festival has expanded to cover much of the city; from Doughgirls Comfort Kitchen on the UBC Campus, to Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby, to Thomas Haas Chocolates in North Vancouver. Created with Milk, Dark and White Chocolates, flavours range from single origin cups, vibrant and spicy blends, liquor and floral infusions, vegan or coconut milk options.
Visit hotchocolatefest.com to see what the participants have to offer and to download the Hot Chocolate Festival map and guide.
The Hot Chocolate Festival is a fundraiser for the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters’ Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program.
When planning a recent weekend getaway to Parksville, a couple of friends recommended Bread & Honey Food Co. as a good spot to eat. The small cafe is also highly rated on Trip Advisor and Yelp! which helped make sure we made the time to grab a meal before leaving town.
Located in an unassuming strip mall, Bread & Honey was a full but there was two seats left at the small service counter which we gladly took. Speaking to one of the servers behind the counter, found that Sundays are their busiest day and on a sunny morning like this, even more so. The friendly vibe in the cafe was boosted by the seating arrangement; a long bar across the window, a great table in the middle and a half dozen 4-seaters around the edge and outside. Listening to the other patrons, Bread & Honey sounds like a regular spot for many of them.
Bread & Honey emphasises local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients in their menu. The menu is filled with comfort food, from oatmeal and bacon & eggs for breakfast to burgers, soup and sandwiches for lunch. For our meal we selected a couple of all-day breakfast items from the hot sheet; Eggs Cochon and Duck Benedict. Both were unique takes on traditional benedicts but elevated with unexpected ingredients.
Eggs Cochon is rich, flavourful bbq pork and soft poached free-range eggs on fresh baked black pepper biscuits topped with hollandaise.
Duck Benedicts is melt-in-your-mouth duck confit and poached free-range eggs on a crispy potato rösti topped with hollandaise and served with orange slices and peashoots.
Both dishes were flavourful and especially satisfying after a morning swim at Grotto Spa at Tigh Na Mara. Adding a coffee, tea, organic juice or, if we weren’t driving, a mimosa or brunch cocktail, made for a great relaxing brunch. We look forward to returning again to try more of the menu.
Bread & Honey Food Co. is located at #4-163 Harrison Ave, Parksville, BC. At this time the cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday to Sunday, it previously opened at dinner too but the owners cut back the hours when they started a family and couldn’t be as hands-on as they would like.